Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Willies


Did you ever get "The Willies?"
Where you find a place so creepy that you can't stay?
Where were you when it happened?
It happened to me on The Big Island in Hawaii one summer.
I was in my teens, vacationing with my family. I wanted to see the Southern Cross (and nearby Alpha Centauri) for years, and knew they would be low in the southern sky at dusk.
The threes and shrubs of the resort blocked the lower parts of the sky, but I knew I'd have a good view from the huge lava field nearby.
The sun went down. As the sky darkened. I hiked to my observation post, delighted that I'd finally get to see parts of the sky I couldn't see at home. Alpha Centuri will be the brightest one I reminded myself and if you line it up with [the second brightest star] it'll point to the top of the...
Suddenly the lava field loomed before me. Hours earlier it'd looked like a sea of black rocks under a postcard-blue sky. Now it was blackness. Vast blackness. It was the creepy!
There was no time to search for famous stars or constellations. I got out of there!
My fear didn't make any sense. It wasn't like there were lava monsters or Jack the Hula Ripper on the loose...
...why was that lava field so spooky at night?

5 comments:

Linda said...

Most of the places I've wanted to escape have involved water--being caught out in the ocean in an undertow, being caught out in the ocean in a little boat with engine problems in a storm .. but that's not really what you mean by creepy.

Once when i was REALLY little I remember creeping to the very back of the backyard and sitting in the grass. Suddenly I looked down and noticed a mushroom. (Toadstool?) Then I noticed 3. Then I noticed that I was surrounded by hundreds. I was terrified, maybe because I had heard someone say they were POISON. But they also looked creepy. I was so scared I couldn't move and my mutha had to come pick me up and carry me inside.

Sally said...

Those lava fields are creepy in the day too.

Namowal said...

Linda,
I think humans underestimate the power (and danger) of water until they find themselves in it at the wrong time. Scary indeed!

As for mushrooms, there's something alien and creepy about them- the way they show up overnight, the weird zombie skin, the scary gills...

Sally said...

Actually I had a severe "give me the creeps" attack in Bremen, Germany, and decided to return to US rather than spend junior year in Germany. I think I was emotionally unready for it after my father died six months before.

Namowal said...

Sally,
That had to be remarkably difficult going off to Europe so soon after losing your dad! No wonder you wanted to return to the States.
I think the brain has a certain threshold where uncertainty and/or fear triggers a "get OUT of here!" reaction that can't be ignored.